This Star Wars Day, or May the Fourth, Disney+ will honor the global Star Wars fan community with premieres and brand-new original content joining the service’s comprehensive collection of Star Wars movies and shows.
The actual origins of Star Wars Day and “May the fourth be with you,” stretch all the way back to the 1970s, when it was first popularized by an unexpected source: Margaret Thatcher and the United Kingdom’s Conservative Party.
According to StarWars.com, who cite Alan Arnold’s 1980 book Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back, “May the 4th be with you” first emerged in the mainstream pop culture on May 4, 1979. On that day, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister of the U.K. after the Conservatives defeated the Labour Party government in a general election. To celebrate, the Tories took out a newspaper ad, which declared, “May The Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
The pun on “May the Force be with you” popped up several more times over the years, including once more in a U.K. parliamentary debate, but wouldn’t be directly linked with a Star Wars-themed holiday until 2008, when a Facebook group celebrating “Luke Skywalker Day” adopted the May the Fourth slogan.
What started as a fan-generated grassroots holiday, Star Wars Day has become a full-fledged celebration of the Star Wars saga embraced by the entire galaxy. And even in lockdown, this year fans can look forward to three key highlights:
The final chapter of the Skywalker saga, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” will begin streaming two months early on Disney+ in honor of “May the 4th”. For the first time ever, fans will be able to stream the complete Skywalker saga all in one place and the thrilling climactic chapter in the Skywalker saga brings the heroic struggle to restore peace and freedom to the galaxy to an epic, resounding conclusion.
The film stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, with Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams.
“Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian” is an eight-episode documentary series that pulls back the curtain on “The Mandalorian.” Each chapter explores a different facet of the first live-action Star Wars television show through interviews, never-before-seen footage, and roundtable conversations hosted by Jon Favreau.
After seven seasons, one of the most critically acclaimed chapters in the Star Wars saga, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” will come to a close on a special day. With ambitious, ground-breaking computer animation, classic characters, astounding action, and the timeless battle between good and evil, “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” expands the Star Wars story with all-new adventures set in a galaxy far, far away exploring the events leading up to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
In addition to new content offerings, Disney+ will also honor the artistry of Star Wars with a week-long concept art takeover on the service. Like a commemorative gallery, each film and series’ artwork will be updated on May 4th to feature its original concept paintings.
From “Star Wars: A New Hope” to “The Mandalorian,” the updated art will feature work from celebrated artists such as the legendary Ralph McQuarrie and Academy Award-winning artist, author, and production designer, Doug Chiang.
On the Disney+ home screen, the animated “Star Wars” brand tile, viewable on web and connected TV devices, gets upgraded with a new animation that honors the signature hyperspace jump.
For more information and/or to sign-up for Disney+, visit:disneyplus.com/welcome/